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Gaz tops for Carr

Posted on 16 June 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Kunle Odetoyinbo does not expect to win any popularity contests during the course of pre-season training.

For it is our fitness coach who has devised the drills for this period in order to get the players in full working order for the forthcoming campaign.

Ask most players and they will tell you that the stamina-building segment of the year is the one they dread the most. Optimum fitness does not come without crashing through the pain barrier, which is why Kunle is happy to accept the title of 'most unpopular man in La Manga' if his methods achieve the desired results.

"To a certain degree that is true," admitted Kunle. "I suppose at this time of year I, as an individual, spend a lot of time trying to get those players to start over again with enthusiasm and direct that into achiveing a level of fitness that will get them towards day one in good shape to cope with the demands of the game.

"It is a long, demanding affair and I can be unpopular at times - but I can live with that."

Kunle is currently putting the players through their collective paces in La Manga - a five day trip where the coaching staff can be assured of the player's undivided attention.

"Having the facilities we have here allows us to use the length of the day," added Kunle. "The players have their rooms and can go and rest inbetween training and we can keep them in an environment where we can control variables such as the food, work to rest ratio and what they do in a much tighter way than we can at Spurs Lodge.

"The players always show a good level of enthusiasm in the pre-season. People come back wanting the start of the season to come round very quickly.

"Of course they have to be reminded and made to realise that all the levels of fitness and technical ability that they attained last season are not there in full and they have to start all over again."